Never having competed in a beauty pageant before, 18 year old Emma Rudkin, shocked many when she won the title of Miss San Antonio Feb. 21. The shock was felt by many, seeing as Rudkin is the first winner to be hearing impaired in the history of the contest. Many doctors had told her she wouldn’t be able to attend a normal school, let alone the title of Miss San Antonio.
Even with negative thoughts being put in her head at a young age when she first lost her hearing due to an infection, Emma never gave up when life threw her an obstacle.
“My reaction [to this] would be amazed. It’s inspiring to see someone [successful] through hard times,” senior Lorraine De Chavez said. “For someone who [has had] bad news, it’s refreshing to see someone rise to the top and be able to prove others that she is capable of achieving great things.”
With the achievements Emma has received, some would say she’s become an inspiration to everyone who may be completely deaf, or hard of hearing . She encourages them to prove that being heard of hearing is not a disability and that they can do great things in life.
“I feel like Emma Rudkin’s achievements will motivate other deaf and hard of hearing students,” ASL teacher Tim Kitterman said. “The big problem with deaf people is with a lot of deaf people [don’t see] enough [role models], so the more role models there are [more people will think] that ‘hey I can do the same thing’.”
Even though Emma never really had the chance to experience all of the wonderful sounds of the world, she still never gave in to the harsh and critical doubts doctors had for her. She instead chose to follow her dreams, something that ended up making her a role model for kids like her who are struggling with something that many say will hold them back.